President VTLS Inc.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Edward A. Fox" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Saturday, January 20, 2001 4:21 PM
Subject: VTLS and plan to support NDLTD activities with union catalog of E
> To all interested in seamless access to ETDs connected with NDLTD:
> Fortunately, there are a growing number of institutions connected
> with NDLTD that are helping make scholarly research available,
> thanks to the activities of students and universities around the globe.
> One important partner is VTLS, Inc., a member of NDLTD, with a
> seat on the NDLTD Steering Committee.
> VTLS provides a variety of services in the library automation and
> digital library field. Their high-end service is "Virtua" which has
> unique capabilities to handle multilingual collections of metadata
> using UNICODE, MARC, XML, and other technologies. VTLS has
> generously agreed to support NDLTD through a union database
> of ETDs for all members of NDLTD willing to share their metadata.
> VTLS will provide a computer, loaded with Virtua software, and
> will use that to provide access to the union database on an ongoing
> basis. As long as NDLTD members provide metadata free of charge
> for this effort, VTLS will provide access free of charge as well.
> Please see the announcement of this from last summer:
> ``VTLS Partners with Virginia Tech on NDLTD.''
> Press release, July 2000, online in PDF
> (http://www.ndltd.org/news/prVTLS.pdf) and Word
> We have been continuing this effort and have a plan in 3
> steps to have a service fully functioning in summer 2001.
> The first effort, starting now, is with a small set of
> beta sites, to extend the successful testing that has been
> underway with Virginia Tech data. The second effort
> is a larger testing effort, for which we invite volunteers
> so we have a complete set of cases and languages. The
> third phase will be the production effort in the summer.
> In all cases the emphasis will be on metadata records
> for which there is a link to corresponding ETD, typically
> in PDF, SGML, XML, and in some cases with multimedia
> elements. See at the bottom of this msg for tentative details.
> We are hoping that sites interested in this will run the
> software being developed through the Open Archives
> Initiative, OAI, www.openarchives.org. This will allow
> us to harvest data, from all sites involved, in a fully
> automatic way. We have prototyped a harvester for this
> purpose. The OAI standards will be announced in
> Washington, D.C. on Jan. 23 and in Berlin on Feb. 26.
> I am not sure if anyone in Asia will be having a similar
> unveiling and briefing, but we hope that will happen
> On Jan. 9-10 there was an open meeting at OCLC in Dublin
> Ohio to finalize the standard encoding for metadata about
> ETDs according to Dublin Core in XML. VTLS will be working
> with metadata in that form or in MARC. They will support
> UNICODE for all languages.
> While all this is going on, we will continue to maintain our
> set of pointers to various ETD collections as well as running
> a simple federated search system from http://www.theses.org/
> We hope that every NDLTD site with a searchable collection is
> listed there, or will let me know details so they may be
> We look forward to comments from all interested!
> Regards, Ed
> - - - --details follow- -- --
> 1. Steps in the process
> a) The first, beta, phase is underway now and involves a small
> number of NDLTD members that represent a wide variety of
> languages, such as Chinese, Greek, German, and Spanish.
> Testing will proceed through roughly the end of February.
> b) The second, test, phase will proceed through the end of
> May 2001. It will involve roughly 15 members of NDLTD that
> represent a variety of types of data and languages. There will
> be several from the Chinese-Japanese-Korean language group,
> several with right to left character sets, and several from non-
> English European countries. There will be a range of types of
> MARC records (MARC-21, UNIMARC, SWEMARC, UKMARC, etc.).
> c) The third, open phase, will include all interested members of
> NDLTD, that wish to participate in final open testing. This will
> allow a much larger testing and tailoring effort before the
> goes fully public on July 1, 2001.
> 2. Formats
> VTLS will accept 2 formats for metadata. One is MARC
> communication format. The other is XML, according to the
> specifications that will result from the Jan. 9-10 mtg at OCLC.
> Members of NDLTD willing to supply metadata for the union
> database testing efforts must indicate
> a) if data is in XML, what DTD (e.g., the abovementioned
> standard) is followed
> b) if data is in MARC, which version of MARC is involved
> c) what character set is used
> d) number of records provided
> e) which of the records have corresponding ETDs, and
> how those ETDs are pointed to (e.g., by URL)
> 3. Identifiers/Updates
> All data provided will have some clear scheme by which each
> record has a unique control number assigned. These must
> reflect clearly the institution providing the data, as well as a
> unique ID for the record. Such a scheme is built-in if the
> OAI is involved. Note that an OCLC number can be used if
> this is desired. This type of mechanism will allow records to be
> updated if such is necessary, with a control number ensuring
> that the old and new versions are connected together
> 4. Contacts
> Those interested in participating in the testing efforts should
> contact Ed Fox, [log in to unmask] The contact at VTLS for the
> effort is Deveron Milne, [log in to unmask] The contact at
> Virginia Tech helping with OAI issues is Hussein Suleman,
> [log in to unmask] The contact at Virginia Tech helping with
> MARC-related questions and user-interface questions is
> Robert France, [log in to unmask]
> Professor Edward A. Fox, Ph.D.
> Director, NDLTD
> c/o Department of Computer Science
> 660 McBryde Hall, M/C 0106
> Virginia Tech
> Blacksburg, VA 24061 USA
> ph +1-540-231-5113, FAX +1-540-231-6075
> cellular phone/pager +1-540-230-6266
> email [log in to unmask], WWW http://fox.cs.vt.edu